Olivia Moore: Crème de Menthe Cashew Trees with Chocolate Cake Crust

Cashew and mint cream with chocolate sponge cake dough. Photo / Olivia Moore – That olive green.

This time of year, our pantries seem to stock up on bins of holiday brownies, cakes and cupcakes; whether it’s work chores, holiday bake sales, or homemade baking from the neighbors.

If you have random pieces of cake, throw them into the food processor with some melted chocolate and voila – you have “cake batter”.

This can be shaped into any shape you’d like – for the sake of this recipe, we’ll roll them into balls and then flatten them into discs as the base for a creme de menthe tree.

The crème de menthe is melt-in-your-mouth, smooth and incredibly creamy, and made with coconut milk and cashews. It’s a whole-food-based way of making what looks (and tastes) like buttercream, and it’s also free of dairy and no added sugar.


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Here’s one to make at your next Christmas party!


Makes 10 small trees.

● 300g cake (any mild flavored cake will do)

● 100 g of dark chocolate

● 500 ml of canned coconut milk

● 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes and drained

● 50 g of cornmeal

● ¼ cup coconut oil


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● 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (alternatively, use ¾-1 cup sugar)

● ½ teaspoon mint extract

● ½ teaspoon of salt

● Finely chopped peanuts, to decorate

● Edible stars (you can make your pie crust a star; see notes)


1. To make the cashew cream, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a container and chill for 6 hours or overnight to set.


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2. To make the cake batter, crumble the cake into a heatproof bowl and add the dark chocolate. Heat in the microwave or in a double boiler until the oils from the cake and the chocolate have melted.

3. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until a dough forms. Roll about ⅛ cup of dough into balls and place on a parchment lined tray. Gently flatten each one with the palm of your hand. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to harden.

4. When ready to assemble, transfer the cashew cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle. Swirl each cake batter disk into swirls to resemble trees. Sprinkle on a light layer of finely chopped peanuts, so it looks like snow. Garnish each with an edible star and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge.


To make your own edible stars, you can make a yellow cake batter with white chocolate instead of dark chocolate (or a little coconut oil for dairy-free) and color it with turmeric or yellow food coloring. Roll out the dough and stamp with a small star cutter.

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